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Scholten Japanese Art Gallery
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Fushimi in Yamashiro

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, 1839-1892

Eight Views of Warriors in the Provinces: Fushimi in Yamashiro
(Shokoku musha hakkei: Yamashiro Fushimi)

signed Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi ga, with publisher's seal Man, hanmoto, Nihonbashi, Manson, Tori Ichi (Yorozuya Magobei of Kineido), carver's seal Horiko Hidekatsu, and combined censor and date seal Hitsuji-ichi, aratame (year of the goat [1871], 1st lunar month, examined)

oban tate-e 14 1/4 by 9 1/2 in., 36.1 by 24.1 cm

The first exchanges of the Boshin War took place on January 27-30, 1868, south of Kyoto at the Battle of Toba-Fushimi. Imperial forces were outnumbered by those loyal to the ousted Tokugawa shogun by order of 3:1. However, the modern Imperial army presented howitzers, French-made rifles, and a Gatling gun; in contrast, of the over 15,000 shogunal troops, some were armed with pikes and swords while many front-line riflemen were not even provided with bullets. By the third day, the Emperor achieved a decisive victory: the shogun had fled Edo Castle (to the temporary safety of the Kan'ei-ji Temple in nearby Ueno), Osaka Castle was captured, and the balance of power which for 250 years had maintained order in Japan had irrevocably ceased.

This print was issued without the series title portion of text in the red title cartouche, an unusual (but not unheard of) occurrence in the production process. Given the scarcity of the series in general, and this design in particular, it suggests some sort of unknown obstacle in completing the series of only eight designs.

$950